In a dramatic turn of events, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently alleged that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel may have accepted a staggering amount of ₹ 508 crore from the promoters of the Mahadev betting app.
However, Mr. Baghel has vehemently denied these allegations, stating that this is nothing but a baseless attempt to tarnish his image.
He has also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using probe agencies like the ED, IT, DRI, and CBI to gain an upper hand in the upcoming Chhattisgarh polls.
The Allegations and Baghel’s Response
Mr. Baghel has dismissed the allegations made by the ED, calling them a “bigger joke.”
He compared the situation to an absurd hypothetical scenario, stating that if he were to randomly accuse someone of taking the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked the ED to interrogate them, would they comply?
He emphasized that it has become effortless to tarnish someone’s reputation without any substantial evidence.
The Chief Minister took to ‘X’ to express his views on the matter, claiming that the BJP’s motive behind these allegations is to discredit the popular Congress government in Chhattisgarh.
He stated that the ED has made a malicious attempt to defame his image just before the upcoming elections.
Mr. Baghel highlighted the fact that the ED has accused him of accepting ₹ 508 crore based on the statement of an unknown person, which further weakens the credibility of these allegations.
Lack of Transparency and Intentions
Another aspect that Mr. Baghel raises concerns about is the lack of transparency surrounding the investigation. He questions the motive behind the ED’s decision to issue a press release while the matter is still under investigation.
By releasing the statement of an individual without providing concrete evidence or completing the investigation, the ED raises suspicions about its intentions and the role of the central government.
Considering that the elections are just around the corner, Mr. Baghel finds it perplexing how such a significant amount of cash allegedly made its way to Chhattisgarh.
He questions whether there is a nexus between the central agencies and if they played a role in transporting the money.
The Chief Minister’s remarks allude to a potential collusion between various agencies, raising doubts about their impartiality and integrity.
BJP’s Use of Probe Agencies
Mr. Baghel asserts that the BJP’s reliance on central investigating agencies stems from their inability to compete with the Congress in Chhattisgarh.
He accuses Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of resorting to tactics such as using probe agencies to gain an upper hand.
Despite these accusations, the Chief Minister remains confident that the people of Chhattisgarh are firmly behind the Congress government in their fight against central agencies like the ED and IT.